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Experts: Further reforms and opening-up should benefit China and world

By Bu Yingna, Xin Xin and Ma Zhiping in Haikou | | Updated: 2018-10-28 10:10
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An international forum held under the theme of China in Comprehensive Deepening Reform and Opening-up and the World is hosted by China Institute for Reform and Development in Haikou, Hainan province. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China's strong determination of deepening reform and opening-up should aim to usher in more prosperity for its 1.4 billion people and also benefit the rest of the world, scholars said over the weekend.

They agreed that development of real economy, boosting domestic consumption and continuous integration into globalization should be the key.

The scholars expressed the opinions at an international forum held under the theme of China in Comprehensive Deepening Reform and Opening-up and the World, which was hosted by China Institute for Reform and Development in Haikou, Hainan province.

Reiterating that it will bring benefits to the whole world, President Xi Jinping also vowed that China will not stop reform and opening up drive during his tour in Guangdong province, which neighbors Hainan province and turned the first page of China's reform 40 years ago.

"When we mark the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, we are not only reviewing the past achievements," said Chi Fulin, president of the China Institute of Reform and Development, in his address to the forum.

He said: "More importantly, we are seeking further development and prosperity, bearing the sense of urgency."

In achieving so, Chi said China began to enter the late stage of industrialization, in order to promote the upgrading of manufacturing industry; the key is to improve the development of the real economy.

He also said that entering a new era of consumption, the supply-side structural reform prioritizing the opening of the service industry market will release the potential of huge domestic demand.

"And, in face of the new stage of opening up and new changes in economic globalization, and we must firmly promote the full opening-up, which makes free trade as the main line," Chi said.

The two-day forum saw about 500 scholars, officials and entrepreneurs and other participants from 12 countries.

Shen Danyang, vice-governor of Hainan province, said under the guidance of the important speech of Xi on April 13, when Hainan marked its 30th anniversary of setting up special economic zone, the province will make every effort to mould itself into a new benchmark place of the reform and opening-up in the new era.

He said the opportunities of establishing free trade pilot zone and free trade port in the whole island, which Xi announced in Hainan in April, should be grasped.

"We will explore the construction of the free trade port with Chinese characteristics by creating a convenient business environment and accelerating the establishment of a mechanism that is in line with international trade rules," Shen said.

Liu Liange, president of Bank of China, said the banking industry should adhere to reform and opening up, to uphold the national strategy, and to insist on serving the real economy.

"In the historical process of China's economic growth and development, by doing so, can the industry itself also achieve their own development," he said.

Liu also expressed his deep belief in the developing potential of Hainan, in term of the reform and opening up. Liu said: "If Shenzhen is a pearl, when we look back the past 40 years' reform and opening-up, I am convinced in the next 40 years, Hainan will be a new star."

Sharing her 25 years of devotion to researching China's reform and opening-up, Astrid Skala-Kuhmann, special advisor, G20 and Belt and Road Initiative of GIZ, Germany's international development agency, said China's role and status in globalization and international cooperation have become increasingly significant in previous 40 years.

"To some extent, it is even playing a decisive role," she said.

She said, in 2017, Xi delivered an important speech in Davos, Switzerland, at the annual meeting of World Economic Forum, which not only clarified the direction of China's larger opening up, but also emphasized that China will actively shoulder its own responsibilities.

She also said that amid changing global situation, the international community must strengthen mutual trust between people, cultures and regions to effectively resolve the contradictions and jointly finding solutions.

Lee Hee Ok, director of Sungkyun Institute of China Studies, Sungkyunkwan University of Korea, said there are two main reasons for the success of China's reform and opening up. One is political stability and the other is the innovation of economic development model.

The former has saved the cost of change and provided benign environment for reform and opening up, and the latter has overcome the limitations of the socialist planned economy, he said.

Peng Sen, president of China Society of Economic Reform said "without liberation of ideas, there will be no major breakthrough in reform".

He said emancipating the mind is the theoretical premise of China's reform and opening up, the process of which must adhere to seeking truth from facts.

Importantly, new ideas should meet the realistic requirement for starting a new journey of reform and opening-up on the basis of the past 40 years.

"In the face of a complicated international situation, China need to remain adamant to continue deepening the reform," said Peng.

China's innovation development and status changes were also concerned by the experts. Jorg Binding, director of Global Project Quality Infrastructure of GIZ, said that China's comprehensive openness and active international exchanges were essential for its future development.

China has already been a strong technology market and technological innovation country, he said.

As China's future development will rely on technological innovation, Binding said that the international communication in future-oriented fields at the early stages between China and its global partners were also very important for the industrial layout internationally.

Xiao Geng, president of Hong Kong Institute for International Finance, said in the next stage of reform and opening-up, the guarantee of national security, the happiness of people and the proper construction of future international order should be three main goals.

"Furthermore, in the future, to see whether we achieve the success or not, we should check out whether we are attractive enough to the talents and the capital," Xiao added.

Atsushi Ijuin, lead economist of Japan Center for Economic Research, welcomed the massive cooperation among the Northeast Asian countries ardently.

He said that Northeast Asia currently is faced up with a valuable opportunity. Globally, protectionism is on the rise, and regionally the tension in Korean peninsula has been eased. In such situation, the regional cooperation needs to be strengthened.

"The three countries of China, Japan and South Korea should sign high-quality trade agreements as soon as possible," said Ijuin.

"This will promote cooperation in transportation, trade, tourism, environment and investment. All countries should cherish this golden period."

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